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“You Undermine The Integrity of The Court And That Portends Anarchy” – Judge Faults EFCC Over Jonathan’s Cousin

A High Court the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama, Abuja has faulted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over its continuous detention of a cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Roberts Azibaola.

The commission had detained Roberts since March 23 this year following his arrest over his alleged involvement in the diversion of $40million meant for oil pipeline security contract awarded his firm, One-Plus Holdings.

The judge had, shortly after Azibaola filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit, marked: FCT/CV/1370/2016, to challenge his detention, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck granted an ex-parte application by AziBaola, declaring his continued detention without trial unconstitutional.

The judge later ordered his production in court by the EFCC.

Ruling on a separate motion by Azibaola yesterday, Justice Goodluck described his prolonged detention, without trial, as reprehensible and a conduct that smacks of anarchy.

The judge also noted that a warrant she issued for the EFCC to produce the applicant in court since March this years has not been complied with by the commission.

The judge observed that “rather than to comply with the production order, the respondent (EFCC) wilfully and knowingly side-stepped this court’s production warrant by releasing the applicant (Azibaola Robert) to security operatives who allegedly took the applicant to Lagos on the same day and time the respondent was required to present the applicant before this court.

“As an organisation that is set-up to enforce compliance with the law, the respondent must lead by example,” the judge said.

Justice Goodluck said the EFCC or any other security agency was under the obligation to obey an order of court directing the production of a particular suspect in its custody.

The judge was of the view that “the conduct of the respondent is unsalutory and condemnable.

“It undermines the integrity of the court and portends anarchy.? No person being a natural or jurisdic person is greater than the court. All persons are subordinates to the rule of law.

“It is hoped that this rude conduct will never repeat itself. Let nobody pull the wool over the face of this country,” the judge said.

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